Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome devastates millions of lives each year. It is one of the many disorders listed under the general term ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’. Of all the known repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most recognised and prevalent concern.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome often develops over a number of years with no noticeable symptoms but when these do appear, they include a burning or tingling sensation in the fingers, pain and numbness in the hand, an inability to grasp objects properly and a general weakness of the hands. There has been a noticeable rise over the last decade in the numbers of sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is theorised that for many this may be related to work or recreational activities, which require extensive use of the hands especially in static motions such as gripping and/or repetitive motions such as typing, clicking a computer mouse and gaming controllers.
The carpal tunnel is a passageway comprising nine flexible ligaments, the median nerve, arteries, blood and the lymphatic system, which all pass through in order to help function and movement of the fingers and the wrist. The carpal bones line the carpal tunnel on the backside of the wrist and all the ligaments, nerves and arteries all glide past one another with ease in the carpal tunnel of regular size.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the finger and wrist muscles are overused in one-way movement patterns such as gripping, squeezing and typing. A muscle imbalance develops as a result of this causing the carpal bones to shift making the carpal tunnel smaller, therefore having an effect on the structures within it resulting in painful and debilitating symptoms.
How can you treat carpal tunnel syndrome?
People with mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome may find some relief by making some simple lifestyle tweaks. Whilst foregoing repetitive wrist usage may not be possible due to the type of work carried out, it would be advisable to allow the wrist to rest several times during the day. The pain associated with mild carpal tunnel syndrome can be alleviated by performing some stretch exercises for the wrist to address the muscle imbalance. The use of a cold pack or ice pack may also provide relief by reducing any swelling of the hands and wrist.
The most common treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is the use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s) which work to reduce inflammation. NSAID’s are not without side effects and may cause stomach upset, as well as bleeding.
There are several types of surgical procedures that can be undertaken, such as the cutting of the ligament that is pressing on the median nerve. Whilst all procedures are not fully successful, roughly 70 percent report satisfactory outcome.
If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome then another favourable option is the use of Bromelain capsules by Viridian Nutrition. Bromelain is a protein digesting enzyme obtained from the stems of the pineapple plant and has been researched extensively over the last 20 years. Bromelain has been shown to be highly effective at inhibiting inflammation. Since inflammation is the bane of all the healing processes within our bodies, the use of Bromelain also facilitates the healing of any soft tissues injury including carpal tunnel syndrome.
I also tend to recommend the use of magnesium but not in capsule or tablet form. Magnesium helps to relax muscles and nerves and hence alleviate all types of pain rapidly. Unfortunately, magnesium is also one of the hardest minerals to be absorbed by the body. Using high strengths of magnesium in supplement form often results in diarrhoea and stomach distress. It is for all these reasons that I tend to recommend the use of Pure Magnesium Oil Spray by LifeFlo to be sprayed onto the wrists twice daily. Magnesium Oil is actually a water-based solution from ancient sea beds of magnesium chloride that feels like an oil. When applied to the skin it is quickly absorbed to deliver magnesium to the body without any of the side effects associated with the oral route of taking magnesium capsules or tablets.
A clever device that helps all types of pain including carpal tunnel syndrome is Aculief. It is a drug-free device that works on the principle of acupressure. It is based on the principle of traditional Chinese medicine acupressure point known as the LI-4 meridian spot. This meridian spot is located between the thumb and forefinger and when Aculief is worn, the pressure exerted enhances circulation and energy.
Over 500 clinical studies carried out by credible institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic has resulted in a substantial body of evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture to alleviate chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, migraines and arthritic pain.
Aculief can be worn for several minutes a day or several hours depending upon one’s preference and can even be worn by those who do not suffer from any pain since the increased circulation helps to heighten alertness and concentration.
By being aware of the causal factors of carpal tunnel syndrome, and by implementing a few simple techniques including resting the wrist and taking natural anti-inflammatories, you can not only prevent repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome but actually treat and heal this concern quickly.